by Joleen Linn, Therapy Resource
As many of you know, April was National Occupational Therapy month. In an effort to provide education to the staff on the role of Occupational Therapy in a SNF setting, Osborn Health and Rehab Center hosted a week of fun and informative activities for their co-workers and residents. Occupational therapists provide extensive education to their patients and family members as part of their treatment plans, but how many times have you heard OT introduced as, “This is OT — they work with you ‘above the waist.’ Osborn Health and Rehab Center wanted to inform their staff that occupational therapy is more than “arm bikes, peg boards and getting people ready for PT.” They felt that the best use of OT month was for staff education.
First, they did a quick presentation at their all-staff meeting and invited everyone to participate in the week’s daily activities. The OTs and COTAs made up an OT-related word search, crossword puzzle and true/false quiz. As employees completed the activity, they were presented with a “prize” consisting of chips or cookies (yes, they did bribe with food!). Then each day, Osborn Health andRehabCenterpresented an activity that demonstrated how various impairments affect their residents’ ability to complete basic tasks. For example, they mimicked visual deficits (blindness, macular degeneration and glaucoma) while the staff member navigated an FWW through an obstacle course and then sat down to complete a drawn maze. Another day’s activity involved dominant-sided weakness post-stroke. The employee had to use his or her non-dominant hand for a balance, gross-motor, eye-hand coordination task, which consisted of balancing on one leg on an unstable surface and tossing bean bags with the non-dominant hand to win various prizes. Other activities performed that week included a fine-motor “Minute to win it” type of game, and finally a speed, visual perceptual/cognitive task followed by root beer floats as the final reward.
The Occupational Therapy team did an excellent job of staff education, and more than once heard the comment, “Wow, is that what it is really like?” They had a good turnout and a lot of fun in achieving the objective of celebrating OT month and showing off OT!